It is not, in and of itself, a crime to be involved in a traffic accident. But, it is illegal in the state of Virginia—as it is in most jurisdictions—to leave the scene of an accident without either exchanging information with the other driver or waiting for police to arrive. This offense is commonly referred to as “hit and run”. Any motorist who injures another person or causes substantial property damage is required to remain on the scene and provide assistance. If you fail to do so, you may be charged with felony hit and run. This is true unless the motorist is injured and needs to be treated immediately.
Fairfax criminal defense attorneys, Blanch & Hart, handle criminal and traffic offenses. Our team of criminal defense lawyers knows and understands the aggressive traffic laws of Virginia. If you are involved in a traffic accident, it’s critical to know what to do and how to proceed. The team of criminal attorneys at Blanch & Hart have spent their careers defending people charged with criminal and traffic offenses. Being charged with hit and run in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be a serious matter. Individuals involved in any criminal matter related to a criminal or traffic offense need experienced representation.
Know the law—and know what to do in the event of an accident. Virginia law imposes an affirmative duty on all drivers and passengers to report accidents. Failure to do so can lead to a criminal conviction. When involved in an accident, the following obligations apply to drivers in VA:
Stop your vehicle as close to the scene as possible (without obstructing traffic) as soon as is reasonably possible after the accident.
Report any injuries, your name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number to State Police or local law enforcement agency, and the names of the individuals in the other vehicle as soon as possible.
Provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including transporting the injured person to a hospital, if it is or appears to be medically necessary.
If your injuries prevent compliance with any of the above requirements you must call the police and report the accident as soon as reasonably possible.
If you hit unattended property, you must use reasonable effort to find the owner of the vehicle and if you are unable to locate the owner, you must leave a note with your contact information and report the accident to the police within 24 hours.
Being charged with hit-and-run, speeding, DWI, DUI, or reckless driving in Fairfax County can lead to serious consequences. Call Blanch & Hart — Farifax criminal lawyers who can help.